The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

high altitude bread

snailthenmoons's picture

high altitude bread

Hello,  I'm fairly new to bread making, but I dove in with both feet and enjoy it thoroughly.  This weekend I'll be visiting my mother who lives at about 6800 ft.  She really wants us to bake a lot of bread while I'm there and I don't want to let her down with a bunch of sunken or burned loaves.  I don't know if it makes a difference, but I mainly work with sourdoughs, often with whole grains.  Can anybody offer some advise? 

davidm's picture

I'm baking a lot of sourdoughs presently, with whole grains and seeds etc, and I'm at 9000 feet here in Colorado.

I'm not finding that I have to change any formulas from either BBA or Hamelman in any big way to accommodate the altitude. I think you'll be OK.

Be sure to score thoughtfully though, the oven spring can be impressive, especially if you're a little underproofed. Don't hesitate to add a touch more salt if you find your bread a little blander than you get at home. Try it first though. There's something about altitude that messes with taste receptors in that area for some people. 

Good luck

proth5's picture

I bake at 5280 feet with no adjustment from sea level formulas.  I bake sourdough breads and a lot of whole grains.

My quick look at advice for breads at a slightly higher altitude finds that for bread (unlike for cakes, etc.) no adjustments may be required.  There are comments about rising times being shorter, but at my altitude I cannot honestly say that this is the case.

One thing that is different is the boiling point of water, so if you use a thermometer to check to see if the loaf is baked, the loaf will be done at a lower temperature than at sea level.  Water boils at 200F in my kitchen and a loaf that reads 200F is well baked.

Hope this helps.

snailthenmoons's picture

Thank you for the information. I'm new to the internet as well (this being my first attempt at communication), but I am finding this site to be incredibly useful.